GBR restaurant review: ‘A surprisingly unstuffy and a calm oasis’

GBR in London's Dukes Hotel offers a laid-back atmosphere that's perfect for Sunday brunch, as Rosie Paterson found out.

GBR – or Great British Restaurant – is the new all-day dining restaurant at the Dukes Hotel (of marvellous martini fame).

As discreet as Dukes itself, the dining room is surprisingly unstuffy and a calm oasis from frenetic St James’s — think linen coloured walls dotted with black and white photographs, a bolection fireplace and pale herringbone floor. In fact, the space wouldn’t look out of place in a smart, countryside gastropub, were it not for the eye-catching, floor-to-ceiling mirrored rear wall.

The interiors are undoubtedly an extension of Chef Nigel Mendham’s menu — a clean twist on a selection of classic British dishes and ingredients. We sampled the weekend brunch, which is available from 12pm on Saturday and Sunday, washed down with bottomless prosecco.

Each diner can choose from two dishes, to devour alone or to share with the table. Side dishes, including triple cooked chips, can also be ordered for the table. Opting to share, mostly amicably, we went for duck liver parfait with Yorkshire puddings, confit duck hash, naughty but oh-so-nice French toast topped with sweet cured bacon and maple syrup and a homely kedgeree.

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The result was somewhat nostalgic, a welcome reminder of some of our favourite childhood treats — the kedgeree, in particular, a stalwart of mid-week suppers.

The standout? Pillowy Yorkshire puddings served with decadent pâté, a perfect weekend-roast update. Portion sizes are dainty, but not inconsiderately so, and you’re left wanting more rather than feeling uncomfortable.

Several glasses of prosecco later, we snuck a quick glance at the a la carte menu (they also serve afternoon tea and, from the comfort of the 7-seater bar, assorted snacks and fabulous cocktails), making immediate plans to return one evening for roast loin of venison served with bubble and squeak and a coronation chicken salad.

Loved-up couples should book in for the five-course Valentine’s Day menu, available every evening from February 9 to February 17. The grand finale is a delicious chocolate and cherry sharing concoction.

GBR brunch from £24.5o per person. Valentine’s Day menu from £65 per person (020-7491 4840;

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